Though I’m still not positive exactly when a person becomes an “adult,” (’cause I sure as heck know it’s not when you head off to college!), I become more aware each day, of this year in particular, of some obnoxious realities that come along with the inevitable farewell to naive childhood. These are the ones I currently find to be most vexing. Please note: these are not ranked in any way – they just occur in the order they popped into my brain.
1. No matter how many times you “clean the house,” it’s ALWAYS dirty. I swear, I can work up quite a sweat scrubbing, mopping, dusting … we even have a robot vacuum! But our place honestly only ever FEELS clean for the first five minutes after I’m done.
2. I care about whether or not my house is clean. When I was a kid, a messy room meant NOTHING to me. I made my bed as instructed by my parents and helped around the house as part of my chore-set, but I never really understood why mom gave a honker’s ale about dust and dirt. Unfortunately, I now understand. For an even more unfavorable twist on this truth, refer back to #1.
3. Everyone around you is just a little more selfish. Everything that comes with aging: careers, marriage, children, family obligations and the like – cause everyone to need to focus more and more on events and people in his or her own life. It’s no longer quite as simple as “I like hanging out with you because you have the best Barbie collection” or “I’m going to ride my bike down the street.” Everyone has sh*t to do, things to attend to and less time than there is in the day to take care of such priorities. On the plus side of this annoyance, the people that DO make time for each other develop even more special relationships than ever before. It’s a kind of “Darwinism of friendships.”
4. People’s problems are real. No longer are we plagued by things like not having clean jeans for school or whether or not Dawson and Joey will ever make things work. There’s real stuff going on out there, and I don’t feel like television equipped me appropriately to handle it at all.
5. When things don’t get done, it’s YOUR problem. As a teenager, if your mom asked you to clear the dishwasher, but you forgot … no big deal. You might get yelled at, but that’s about it. Nowadays, there’s nowhere to pass the buck. From paying rent to remembering to walk the dog and feed your kids … there’s a lot to do and any negative consequences fall squarely on your shoulders if it’s not done.
6. You’re in charge of everything you eat, but no longer have the metabolism to eat the way you always wanted to as a kid. This is just an unfair fact of nature.
7. You now understand exactly why your parents made you do all those chores when you were younger in order to earn your allowance. This specific example falls under a larger umbrella of “realizing you’re turning into your parents” and “coming into the unfortunate understanding that your parents were probably right a lot when you were a kid.”
8. You can technically afford to buy eight puppies, but your stupid sense of responsibility just won’t let you do it. This is a slight variation on #6.
9. People have changed. In addition to becoming more selfish, people have just … changed. For a variety of reasons and circumstances. And you probably have too. This is good in some ways, terrible in others.
10. You now spend entire weekends “running errands.” How does this happen!?
11. The show, “Dinosaurs,” really isn’t that good anymore. Difficult to judge WHAT was so great about it back in the day, really. This unfortunately applies to other shows watched during childhood as well.
12. You have to set your own goals. There’s no longer the pre-set milestones like graduating from high school or getting a college diploma. YOU have to figure out what’s important and what you want to do to get there. Sometimes, that’s tougher than the work that needs to get done along the way.
13. No one owes you an explanation for anything. In school and with your parents, usually if you asked, “Why?” enough times … you would get some kind of a resolution. As an adult, sometimes you just have to be OK with the unresolved. And that is never fun.
Don’t get me wrong. There are a million AMAZING and rewarding things about adulthood. But sometimes, I go through a rough patch or a trying time, and it’s so hard not to just throw my hands up in the air and scream, “It’s not fair!” Not that I ever thought it would be. I was never taught to believe that life should be fair all the time, which I thank my parents for on a daily basis. It’s why I try to take all of the complaints registered in this blog post and try to turn them around to be opportunities to evolve and further my life. And the next time I’m feeling extra good, I’ll be sure to jot out a post about all the wonderful things adulthood brings and give that its own day in the sun as well.